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Products for grant FN-279286-21

Documentation and description of Jarawan languages
Christopher Green, Syracuse University

Grant details:

Jarawan numerals: implications for history and internal classification (Article)
Title: Jarawan numerals: implications for history and internal classification
Author: Christopher R. Green
Abstract: This article provides an overview of the numeral systems of Jarawan languages, an understudied group of languages spoken in Nigeria, and formerly in Cameroon. Lexical patterns and morphological micro-patterns observed within this subset of the Jarawan lexicon have implications for our understanding of Jarawan history and for accounts of the movement of Jarawan peoples into and throughout Nigeria. Numeral patterns, representative of 21 named Jarawan language varieties, both extant and extinct, lend support to two different accounts of Jarawan migration from Cameroon into Nigeria. Moreover, they suggest that these migrations may have occurred at a considerable time depth from one another. In doing so, this study complements others in demonstrating the value of incorporating linguistics, alongside archaeology, bioanthropology, and genomics, as a proxy in studies of paleodemography.
Year: 2023
Access Model: Subscription
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Anthropological Linguistics
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press

Jarawan languages: Perspectives on (re)classification (Book Section)
Title: Jarawan languages: Perspectives on (re)classification
Author: Christopher R. Green
Author: Rebecca Grollemund
Abstract: In this paper, we review the position of the Jarawan languages within the Bantoid group. Based on new evidence (lexical, phonological, and morphological), we rekindle an earlier proposition, postulating that Jarawan languages are not in fact Bantu languages, but rather that they are best classified as BnB languages. The placement of Jarawan languages with the Mbam-Bubi languages in recent classifications, we shall argue, can be explained by shared inheritance. In this paper, we will present our arguments in favor of a reclassification of the Jarawan languages with the BnB, more particularly at the Ekoid or Tivoid level.
Year: 2023
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Book Title: The Bantoid languages and Cameroonian Bantu - continuity and discontinuity

On the place of Jarawan among Bantoid languages (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: On the place of Jarawan among Bantoid languages
Author: Christopher R. Green
Author: Rebecca Grollemund
Abstract: Jarawan languages figure prominently into longstanding debates among Africanists concerning their classification relative to non-Bantu Bantoid vs. Narrow Bantu languages. Recent scholarship on the matter – namely Blench 2006, Grollemund 2012, and Grollemund et al. 2018 – contends, based primarily on what is known of their lexicon, that Jarawan belongs within Bantu Group A (specifically alongside Mbam-Bubi languages, A31-40-60), though perspectives on their precise place within the group differ between scholars. This paper, based on data collected over the last three years on Mbat [iso:bau] and more recently on Duguri [iso:dbm], calls into question such a determination, illustrating that although ~20% of the Jarawan lexicon is indeed cognate with Bantu, these same items are also cognate with Bantoid. This suggests, therefore, that these vocabulary items entered the lexicon via some pre-Bantoid proto language. We illustrate that there are indeed no clear lexical innovations linking Jarawan to Bantu, including to any A40 or A60 languages. Any evidence presumed in favor of their inclusion in Bantu by vestigial nasal prefixes observed on some nouns can also be set aside, as these too are found in Eastern Grassfields languages (Hyman 1980, 2018). In further support of our determination that Jarawan languages are properly classified among other non-Bantu Bantoid languages, we present data on the Jarawan verbal system showing that the languages exhibit all and only those six verbal extensions that Hyman (2018) reconstructs for Proto-Grassfields. Furthermore, we show that these extensions are fully aspectual in the synchronic grammar of these languages, which in turn places Jarawan within “Stage 3” of Hyman’s trajectory concerning the development of aspectual function from extensions earlier involved in valency changing operations. As such, Jarawan is perhaps a step beyond even some other Bantoid languages in this regard, as Hyman proposes that Bantoid languages, as a group,
Date: 3/23/2022
Conference Name: 1st Conference on Bantoid Languages and Linguistics

The mistaken identity of the Jarawa who traveled north: Towards a re-classification of “Jarawan Bantu (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: The mistaken identity of the Jarawa who traveled north: Towards a re-classification of “Jarawan Bantu
Author: Christopher R. Green
Abstract: Jarawan languages have long fascinated Africanists, and particularly historical linguists and linguistic typologists. They stand near the cusp of the Bantoid-Narrow Bantu divide, with descriptions and classifications dating back to the early 20th century making claims that they belong in one group vs. the other. Until recently, however, remarkably little is known about them beyond wordlists, some of which contain only a few dozen words, and a single short descriptive paper. The most recent classifications based on extensive comparison and advances in lexicostatistic modeling claim that they belong among the Group A Narrow Bantu, though details differ from scholar to scholar. In this paper, it is illustrated that data collected over the last three years on three Jarawan languages, and subsequent reanalysis of existing wordlists and the sound changes observed therein, do not support the same conclusion. From a lexical standpoint, it is shown that while Jarawan languages indeed share approximately 20 percent of their cognates with Proto Bantu, these same cognates are also shared with Proto Grassfields, and often with Proto Benue-Congo; they cannot be shared Bantu innovations. From a morphological standpoint, it will be shown that Jarawan languages appear more akin to certain Grassfields languages. Lastly, in terms of diachronic sound changes, whereas North-Western Bantu languages display two significant phonological innovations, these innovations are not observed in Jarawan languages. Thus, based on lexical cognates, sound changes, and morphology, this paper revisits and bolsters arguments in favor of a re-classification of Jarawan languages among other Bantoid
Date: 2/4/2022
Conference Name: frican Linguistics Working Group. International Christian University (Tokyo)